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Mark Burel* was a stalwart in the Hurricane soprano line for fifteen years, from 1970 thru 1984. Early on he displayed the grit it takes to be a part of a top quality corps by being named “Most Improved” in the horn line in 1974. He was famously recognized by his peers throughout his career as a man who approached life from a fun loving perspective… earning him the moniker “"The Amazing Marko"”. Not belying the humor though, was his work ethic and a tenacious competitive attitude. …His goal and level of performance was consistently focused on excellence.
Mark's interest in music began in the 3rd. grade when he chose the trumpet in his school band. Recognizing his passion, his father enrolled him at the Bob Weller music school for private tutoring. In 1964 he joined the Stratford PAL Jr. Drum Corps. From 1966 thru '68 ’he was a member of the Connecticut Royal Lancers and in 1969 he played with the Connecticut Yankees. While in high school, in addition to his drum corps activities, Mark participated in the jazz, concert and marching bands of Stratford High School.
Pete Burns became a Hurricane in 1956 and quickly moved up the ranks from Flag Bearer, to Color Guard Captain, to Assistant Drum Major. In addition to his on field duties, in 1960, he became Assistant Corps director and in 1963 was named Corps Director. His hardnosed tenacity and winning personality made Pete the perfect man for the job of leading the Hurricanes through the most successful period of their proud history, culminating in his last year, 1967, with an American Legion National Championship and a DCA World Championship.
Pete is also recognized as one of the founding fathers of DCA, having taken an active part in forming and organizing the fledgling new circuit in 1963, and served as the DCA’'s first Secretary from 1963 through 1967.
He was a marching instructor to the Connecticut Royal Lancers and the Oxford Explorers, as well as a Northeastern Circuit Judge, and Caption Chairman for the Northeastern Judges Association.
Ed Condon* and Bob Woods* were lifelong friends from childhood. They later comprised a highly successful team as drill writers and instructors for the Hurricanes. It is therefore only fitting that, considering their history, legend and legacy that they be memorialized here as such…..the team known as “Condon & Woods.”
Ed and Bob began their drum corps careers in 1947 with the John H. Collins fife, drum and bugle corps. In those early years, Ed and Bob, among others, were influential voices in transforming the Collins Post corps into the Hurricanes. Through the early years Ed played the baritone and Bob was a tenor drummer when the Hurricanes became a competitive field corps. They paid close attention to Hurc drill instructor, Vinny Ratford, and by the early 60'’s formed the partnership that would bring them such revered recognition (as well as the Hurricanes). “Condon & Woods” introduced innovative drill designs that helped move marching styles of the day away from strict military patterns. By using color guard in the drill, they were able to create free flowing presentations with high audience appeal. During the years they were active with the Hurricanes, the Corps won virtually every top contest of the day, including the DCA championship, the World Open, American Legion and Dream championships, as well as the Conn. State championship. They wrote and taught the Hurricanes marching through 1968, at one point winning the M&M caption 41 consecutive times. They also led the Hurricanes to top drill marks in the first four DCA championship contests. Under their tutelage, marching became the Corps “ace in the hole”, and was a major factor in the Corps success during their tenure. In recognition of their contribution to the activity, Ed and Bob rest as members of the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame.